Call it luck, fate or happy coincidence, -- it was definitely good fortune way back when two boys from different parts of Pune ended up in the same college, actually attended a lecture (probably for the first and last time) and met. It wasn't long before flautist Gandhaar Amin and guitarist Vinay Kaushal discovered they had similar music tastes and Empty Cafe was born. Named as joke after a tune by the legendary Jethro Tull, Empty Cafe has been playing to packed venues ever since. They are often accompanied by percussionist Varun Venkit.
The fusion trio recently released their EP "Who's Listening?" which is available on all major streaming platforms.
Gandhaar Amin: has been playing the flute since the age of five. No stranger to the stage, he started performing at the age of 8 as an accompanist to his father and hasn't looked back since.
Vinay Kaushal: Well-known guitarist and alumnus of the prestigious Musician's Institute (Hollywood) Alumni and Fender endorsee. He brings flavours of contemporary western music to Empty Cafe.
Varun Venkit: on percussion - a connoisseur of West African Music and an advanced level student of djembe grandmaster Mamady Keita (president of the Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy).
He has been designated as a ‘TTM certified professor’ of the djembe by the grandmaster himself.
Who's Listening? - EP 2019
The musical interests of the three members of Empty Cafe come from three different continents -- classical Indian music, western jazz and blues, and traditional West African. Although our interests span the world, we find common ground in India. This is where our music stems from -- a true fusion starting in the land of our birth and spanning in the world with our influences and musical leanings. Our listeners travel with us through the notes of the bamboo flute, the changes on the guitar and the beats of the djembe.
As any traveller knows, a lot of the thrill comes from improvisation. This meant we had to record the album live. Each song is presented to the listener in its true form, with no overdubs, no cuts and wiithout being tarnished by overproduction. We hit the studio in early April, and recorded a 4 track EP. Each song is also accompanied by a live video shot at Gray Spark of the live recording.